Being a parent has been the most rewarding, yet toughest thing I have done. When the kids are young, the physical exhaustion gets you, however, as they get older, it is the mental exhaustion. Having five beautiful children ranging from 3 months to 11 years, my husband and I have experienced a vast array of parenting wins and struggles (and we still have yet reached the teenage years!) Here are 5 of our favorite tips/quotes that have guided through our years as parents.
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PARENTING TIPS 1: BEAUTY IS IN THE INSIDE
A simple concept ~ but so difficult to instill. Especially in this day and age of technology and social media, children measure their worth on the number of "likes" they receive on social media. We as parents, need to be sure that we tell our children every day that they are beautiful, not just their physical features, but who they are inside. And this is something we can start at a young age. I've noticed my seven years old say something about her appearance. It makes me cringe knowing they are already aware of their physical looks, but I need to take this opportunity to remind them that their beauty is their personality, compassionate nature, and their generous heart.
PARENTING TIP 2: TAKE EACH OBSTACLE AS AN OPPORTUNITY
Parenting is the most rewarding experience, yet the most difficult. When our children succeed, parenting is pretty awesome - we feel like we're amazing parents! However, when the kids make poor decisions, my first response is to get upset. More often than not, I become over-emotional and unfairly reprimand my children. They are just children, and our job as parents is to guide and teach them. I still have not perfected this, but trying to change my mindset when mistakes happen. I want to see the mistakes as a teaching opportunity. Step one is to take a deep breath and then look at the situation and remember how can we learn from these difficult times.
PARENTING TIP 3: FOCUS ON TODAY
It is a saying that is all too familiar to parents - kids grow up too fast! I look at my family and cannot believe how quickly 11 years have passed. My oldest is 11; he's almost as tall as I am and I'm seeing glimpses of the young man he will become. It happened in a blink of an eye, and our family of 2 quickly grew to a family of 7! We are often falling into the trap of getting caught up in the busyness of the day instead of stopping and enjoying the moment. We need to embrace each day because we can't change the past and we can't control the future. We can however, live and love today.
PARENTING TIP 4: INVOLVE YOUR CHILDREN
Children are amazing and I am guilty of underestimating their ability. It is too easy to do things for our children because it is faster and more efficient. "Mom, can I help you cook?" "No dear, I don't want you near the stove" or "No honey, I don't want you to make a mess." How will they learn? If we do everything for our kids, how will they learn independence and the confidence to do things on their own? Even if it takes an extra 10 minutes to involve them in various chores or activities, by doing so nurtures their growth and sense of responsibility.
parenting tip 5: never stop being a role model
We, as parents, are our children's first teacher and role model. Children are like sponges, soaking up everything. We have this opportunity to instill the values that will be part of their life forever. The sooner we teach our children, the sooner it becomes a part of who they are. This idea is one of the reasons why I started Giving Artfully Kids. I saw this opportunity to instill, at an early age, in children the values of kindness, compassion, and empathy.
Parenting is an incredible experience. However, it is one most difficult things you’ll ever do. You experience highs and lows like in no other job you have. But in the end, being parent becomes so rewarding that it is worth all the heartache, and hardships that come along with the joy, happiness and love. I would love to hear some of your favorite parenting tips.